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DSWD needs P614M for typhoon victims

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) needs an additional P614 million to help victims of typhoon Nina.

DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said the government has spent P47 million for the immediate assistance of the typhoon victims. Of this figure, P46 million came from the DSWD while the rest were from affected local government units.

Typhoon Nina affected 206,812 families in 813 barangays. The island province of Catanduanes was the hardest hit.

“We will ask the President to augment [the budget] for relief goods, as well as emergency shelter assistance. We will be asking P614 million,” Taguiwalo told reporters in a briefing in Malacañang.

Typhoon-hit families were given food packs that contained six kilos of rice, four cans of sardines, four cans of corned beef and six packs of energy drink or coffee.

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda echoed Taguiwalo’s call for relief assistance and donations for the towns of Polangui, Libon, Oas, Tiwi and Malinao in Albay that were heavily devastated by the typhoon.

Salceda, who served as Albay governor for nine years, claimed that the destruction wrought by Nina was worse than the devastation inflicted in 2006 by super typhoon Reming

“Polangui, Oas and Libon are rich agricultural towns that account for 72 percent of Albay’s annual rice harvest. Polangui and Oas, both within the eyewall of Typhoon Nina, have populations of 88,221 and 75,171, respectively, bigger than another direct hit town of Virac, Catanduanes with a population of 73,650. They all urgently need assistance,” Salceda said in a statement.

“70 percent of houses made of light materials were destroyed. I ardently seek your assistance for relief, preferably commodities namely rice, canned goods and other food items, water, clothing, toiletries like soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, housing materials or tarps, medicines,” the lawmaker added.

Salceda has assigned two civil society entities to receive cash donations for the victims: Dios Mabalos Po Foundation, Inc. (BPI Account No. 3303-1931-96; Contact Person is Meds Villanueva— 09175213883) and Team Albay Youth Organizations, Inc. (MetroBank Account No.595004604; Contact Person is Alfred Nimo — 0927-665-4715).

Senator Loren Legarda on Thursday said the government has enough funds to rehabilitate areas devastated by typhoon Nina.

The chairman of the Senate finance committee said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (NDRRM) has an unearmarked P4.9 billion in the 2016 budget which can be used to start the rehabilitation program.

“The government still has funds for 2016 which will still be carried over to 2017 and we also have a new NDRRM fund appropriation for 2017,” Legarda said.

She said aside from the available funds for 2016, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has a budget of P15.755 billion for 2017.

The NDRRMC said damage to agriculture and infrastructure has reached P681.2 million.

Typhoon Nina also damaged roads, river control systems and school facilities in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon amounting to P108.4 million.

Legarda also called on all concerned agencies to utilize available resources to assist areas hit by the typhoon.

“We urge the concerned agencies to utilize these resources immediately and efficiently. We do not want the affected population to suffer more when the government has the resources to alleviate their suffering now,” she said.

The senator admitted that concerned agencies and local government units have improved their disaster preparedness “from forecasting, to early warning and consistent advisories, to prepositioning of goods, to forced evacuation of families in high-risk areas. All concerned agencies were prepared and were on standby even during Christmas,” she noted.


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